Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 20, 2020
I do my best to exercise regularly. When the gym to which I belong closed during Covid I began to jog outside. In fact, you might have seen me (and my apologies, if you have). Well, by some inspiration of the Holy Spirit, when I returned from my 30-Day Retreat I began running through St. Adalbert Cemetery. I mentioned this on a recent Chi-Bro podcast. I very much enjoy 'running amongst the tombstones' because (no, I haven't lost my mind) the grounds are beautiful and quiet and full of religious symbols to keep me focused on Jesus. Also because I'm confronted, when I do so, with my own mortality. Sure, I'm healthy and young now, able to run and exercise, but death is chasing me and will eventually catch me. I won't live forever and I certainly won't be healthy forever. I am dust and unto dust I shall return.
And this isn't a bad thing, for death to catch me and beat me in the race. Look at what Paul says in our second reading: "Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain" (Philippians 1: 20-21). Then, he goes on to say, "I long to depart this life and be with Christ, [for] that is far better" (v.23).
We are surrounded by competition. Cubs, White Sox, Bears, 2020 Election, our jobs. We always want to win, to achieve, to defeat our opponent. Well, death is a case where it's okay to lose. For, death is union with God, and that is our ultimate goal.
If you are interested in being part of Teen Ministry, please let me know. We will be joining the Mary Seat of Wisdom Parish teen group called Crux. There is a group for Freshmen and Juniors that will meet on September 27th at 1pm, and a group for Sophomores and Seniors that will meet on September 27th at 3:30pm. The next "Friday Night Lights" event is October 9th. You can find more information, the full calendar, and register here: https://www.mswparish.org/crux-teen-ministry.
The Saint Juliana Parish Book Club will meet on Saturday, September 26 at 9:15am in the back of the church to discuss The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene and A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. If you are interested in being part of the discussion but would prefer to meet virtually, please email me and I will send you a Zoom invite. Our next book will be A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce, to be discussed on Saturday, October 24.
This weekend is the special collection to support our seminary. We have three seminarians assigned to our parish. Christian Melendez-Cruz and Kevin Gregus are returning. Our new seminarian is Lee Noel. You can read more about them inside the bulletin. We are blessed to have them. As you recall from now-Fathers Robinson Ortiz (St. Joseph, Libertyville) and Hank Lyon (St. Emily, Mount Prospect), having seminarians is a great blessing. Please reach out to Christian, Kevin and Lee when you have a chance, and maybe even an invite over to dinner!
Last, but certainly not least, next Saturday, September 26th parishioner Tom Dombai will be ordained a permanent deacon! Tom and his classmates were supposed to be ordained last May, but this was postponed because of Covid. They will be ordained at St. Rita and Tom's first Mass as a deacon will be Sunday, September 27th at the 9:30am Mass. Please keep Tom, his wife, Marie, and family in your prayers. Congratulations, Tom and Marie!
Yours in Christ,